Turkey, Europe

‘Armenia ready to build direct relations with Turkey’

Nikol Pashinyan who won Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Armenia says his country is ready for relations with Turkey

Handan Kazancı   | 10.12.2018
‘Armenia ready to build direct relations with Turkey’ YEREVAN, ARMENIA - DECEMBER 10: acting Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan speaks during his meeting with a group of foreign press members in Yerevan, Armenia on December 10, 2018. ( Tuğrul Çam - Anadolu Agency )

By Tugrul Cam

YEREVAN, Armenia

Armenia is ready to establish relations with Turkey without any precondition, said acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan whose bloc won Sunday's snap parliamentary elections.

“I have already said many times that we are ready to establish direct relationships with Turkey without any precondition. And we hope Turkey is ready to do the same,” Pashinyan told reporters at the prime ministry building on Monday

“The problem is that unfortunately relationship with Turkey has been connected with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” Pashinyan added.

“It is a very strange situation when the relations between two countries can be so strongly connected with a third country, […] I mean Azerbaijan,” he said.

“This situation is the biggest problem for our relations with Turkey,” he added.

The Armenian occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh – a disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia – led to the closing of the frontier with Turkey, which sides with Baku in the drawn-out dispute.

Political ties between Ankara and Yerevan remain frozen owing to the Karabakh conflict as well as the legacy of killings during the First World War, which the Armenian diaspora and government describe as “genocide” – a description which Turkey refutes.

On Monday, Armenia’s election commission said that Pashinyan’s My Step Alliance garnered 70.4 percent of the votes at the Sunday’s snap parliamentary elections.

In April, Pashinyan, who is a former journalist, led mass protests against the ruling Republican Party, which brought daily life in Yerevan to a standstill and forced former Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan to resign.

Pashinyan, who became the nation’s prime minister in May, had resigned in October to open a way for snap elections.

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